About two months back, terror had gripped the area when a jawan died in a terrorist attack. Early morning on Thursday, it was not fear but a sense of urgency among voters who came out of their home and started queuing up at the polling station. The feeling was more for bringing a change than “anti-Pakistan”.
“In whose term maximum terrorist attacks have taken place? Isn’t it the failure that terrorist could cross into our borders so easily? It was failure of the government,” said 36-year-old Kewal Krishan, a government employee.
On March 28, three terrorists after killing two people at Dayala Chak, about 16 km from here, and a jawan had died in a 10-hour long encounter here.
In the last parliamentary elections, the BJP had a lead of about 25,000 votes from Kathua district with four-lakh voters, but it lost the seat by 13,000 votes. Of the six districts in the constituency, Kathua is largest.
The terrorist attack has added to the general mood for brining in a change, and is apparently advantageous to the BJP.
16km from here at Dayala Chak, where last September terrorists killed four police personnel, the mood is quite the same.
“There have been three major attacks in the area. Many people have died but the government has always been mute. We can’t live in an atmosphere of terror anymore and are voting for a strong leadership to end it,” said Parshotum Kumar, 32, resident of Hiranagar and a contractor by profession.
10 security personnel, including six army personnel and two civilians had died in the September 2013 terror attack.